Drug addict admits 180 offences
A drug addict from Hertfordshire who admitted 180 offences committed to fund his habit will receive a community sentence if he stays out of trouble.
Mark Turner, 29, was told at St Albans Crown Court to stay off drugs and steer clear of crime for the next six months.
If he fails he will get a long jail sentence under the county's Choices and Consequences programme.
Judge Michael Baker QC, told Turner, of Newgate Close, St Albans, to work with probation officers to ensure success.
He pleaded guilty to two charges of going equipped for burglary and six of theft before asking for 180 other offences to be taken into consideration.
Prosecutor Penelope Rector said police stopped Turner on 7 March this year in Hillside Avenue, Borehamwood. He was pushing a wheelbarrow with a television inside.
In a rucksack police found bolt croppers, wire cutters, screwdrivers and a wrench.
On 24 March he had stolen copper piping and cable from Bonusprint in Sterling Way, Borehamwood, and on 11 April he was caught again carrying screwdrivers.
Turner also took £8,000 worth of lead from the roof of St Peter's Church in St Albans, £400 of lead from a property in London Road, St Albans and more lead from the Boots store in St Peter's Street in the city in June and August this year.
Defence barrister Simon Smith said: "His ardent wish is to break the cycle of offending and has made efforts to deal with his drug addiction."
Judge Baker deferred sentence for six months and said Turner must not commit any more offences and work with probation officers on the drug rehabilitation programme.
# BBC News
# December 12, 2008